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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

GOP Ad Mischaracterizes Michigan Candidate’s Response to 2020 Protests

GOP Ad Mischaracterizes Michigan Candidate’s Response to 2020 Protests

A day after a protest in Grand Rapids inspired by the murder of George Floyd turned violent, Democratic House candidate Hillary Scholten of Michigan pleaded for “peaceful” protests and urged demonstrators “to not resort to violence and destruction.” An ad from a Republican PAC falsely claims Scholten “dismissed the destruction.”

Crist Ads Misrepresent DeSantis Statements on Abortion and Background Checks on Guns

Crist Ads Misrepresent DeSantis Statements on Abortion and Background Checks on Guns

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to eliminate state permit requirements for carrying concealed firearms, and he supports banning abortion, with limited exceptions, after 15 weeks of pregnancy. But political ads from former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s campaign misleadingly claim that DeSantis opposes “any background checks” on gun buyers and “wants to ban abortion” in all cases.

Posts Fabricate Claim that Congress Voted to Exempt Members from IRS Audits

Posts Fabricate Claim that Congress Voted to Exempt Members from IRS Audits

After Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes funding to increase staff at the IRS, social media posts falsely claimed members of Congress “voted to exempt themselves from IRS auditing of their personal finances.” An IRS spokesperson told us “there is no such special exemption,” and we found no such vote had been taken.

Images Show IRS Educational Program, Not Training of Agents

Images Show IRS Educational Program, Not Training of Agents

The IRS Criminal Investigation division’s “Adrian Project” educates the public about the IRS through community outreach sessions with high school and college students. Posts on social media are sharing a video from one of the sessions to falsely claim it shows agents in training. The images were posted by a New Jersey university in 2017 and earlier this year.

Online ‘Stimulus Loan’ Offers Are Not Related to Government Programs

Online ‘Stimulus Loan’ Offers Are Not Related to Government Programs

Three stimulus payments have been sent to Americans to ease the economic impact of the pandemic. Social media posts are now sharing a false claim about a new, $40,000 federal stimulus loan. But it’s a marketing ploy. The bottom of the web page says, “This is not a government program nor is it government aid, this is an advertorial for a loan service.”